Kroger will close 3 grocery stores following Los Angeles hazard pay mandate
March 11, 2021. Summarized by summa-bot.
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A Food 4 Less employee pushes carts past supermarket workers gathered to protest in front of the supermarket in Long Beach, California on February 3, 2021, after a decision by owner Kroger to close two supermarkets rather than pay workers an additional $4.00 in "hazard pay" for their continued work during the coronavirus pandemic. - Kroger, which owns Ralphs and food 4 Less, said it will close one of each store in April after the Long Beach city council passed a law mandating "hazard pay" for grocery store workers. Long Beach was the first city in the region to approve a hazard pay ordinance. (Photo by Frederic J. BROWN / AFP) (Photo by FREDERIC J. BROWN/AFP via Getty Images)
Kroger announced it will close three Los Angeles grocery stores in May amid concerns about the city's new hazard pay mandate, which requires large grocery and pharmacy stores to pay their employees an additional $5 per hour over a four-month span due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
(CNN Business)Kroger announced it will close three Los Angeles grocery stores in May amid concerns about the city's new hazard pay mandate, which requires large grocery and pharmacy stores to pay their employees an additional $5 per hour over a four-month span due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
The company said Wednesday that the closures of the Los Angeles stores — two of which are operating as Ralphs and one as Food 4 Less — was a decision accelerated by the new pay requirement.
"It's never our desire to close a store, but when you factor in the increased costs of operating during Covid-19, consistent financial losses at these three locations, and an extra pay mandate that will cost nearly $20 million over the next 120 days, it becomes impossible to operate these three stores," a Kroger spokesperson said.
Kroger announced in February the closing of a Ralphs and a Food 4 Less in Long Beach, citing the "misguided decision" by the Long Beach City Council to require hazard pay for grocery workers.
Kroger later announced that two of its QFC stores in Seattle will close in April, with a QFC news release highlighting the hazard pay requirement and the stores' "consistent financial losses. "
"Essential workers in grocery stores are putting their health at risk every day to make sure families can put food on the table and city leaders are stepping up to ensure they have the hazard pay they have earned," Perrone said in a statement Wednesday.
Kroger said it will be providing the mandated extra pay to all associates, including those at the three stores scheduled to close on May 15 as well as 65 other stores in Los Angeles.